As a property owner and landlord, you are responsible for the safety of your tenants. Aside from providing them shelter, tenants need to feel protected while in the comforts of your property. If your tenants feel that you are looking out for their welfare, they will likely stay with you for a longer period of time. By boosting your rental property’s security measures, you can increase its value, strengthen your relationship with your current tenants and attract quality future renters. To guide you through this process, here are some ways to help you keep your property secure.
1. Start with the entrance
The entrance and front area of your rental property can serve as a hiding place for criminals. Make sure to trim your bushes and or any other obstructions. Your front entrance should be clear and free from any hindrances that will make your tenants vulnerable to ill-intentioned individuals.
2. Secure the doors
One of the first things that you should do is to secure your external doors. Invest in quality doors made of heavy-duty materials and avoid using doors with glass windows, hollow doors, or those made in plastic as they are easy to break and get into. Upgrade your doors’ locking mechanisms and consider installing deadbolt locks and door jammers for added security. For your tenants’ peace of mind, you can add peepholes or multiple chain locks. In addition, make sure to collect the keys from an evicted tenant and consider changing your locks frequently in case your previous tenants made a copy.
3. Focus on your windows
Your windows are vulnerable entryways in your rental property. Most windows are equipped with a locking mechanism, which makes them impossible to be opened from the outside. However, intruders can easily break the window glass and climb through, especially if your rental unit is located on the first floor of a commercial building. Make sure to install window locks to discourage burglars from breaking and entering. For more protection, you can install window sensors designed to alert you if the windows have been tampered with.
4. Add more exterior lighting
One of the easiest ways to improve your rental property’s security is to install additional external lighting. Your tenants don’t want to come home at night feeling anxious whenever they try to open the front door. Make sure to illuminate the dark areas around your property. You can use motion-sensors lighting as they can detect movement even from several feet away. They are also eco-friendly as some of them are solar-powered, so you don’t need to worry that they will run out of batteries or increase your electricity bill.
5. Install a security system
Having a security system can make your tenants feel more protected. It may seem like a significant investment, but it could spell the difference when tenants are property hunting. There are several options that you could choose from that offer a variety of features. Make sure to select the one that suits your rental property type as well as your budget. Many of them are easy to install, and are accessible remotely. Remember to educate all of your tenants about how they operate to ensure that your security system works effectively.
6. Use a security camera
Aside from installing a security system, installing security cameras around your property can further give your tenants peace of mind. You can place them in the front and back entrance and other areas of your home that are susceptible to intruders. A security camera can capture any incidents within your vicinity, making the footage a reliable piece of evidence in the event of criminal activity. Even if the security camera is inactive, just the presence of it can deter thieves from breaking into your property.
7. Take note of your property essentials
It is important that you are aware of what your rental property contains. You can list down everything inside your unit and even take photographs of each item. Your records can help you in the event of a robbery or if you need to settle a dispute with a tenant. Make sure to document everything and keep the list somewhere safe and inaccessible to your tenants.
8. Perform safety checks and regular maintenance
As a responsible landlord and property owner, you need to ensure that your rental unit adheres to the necessary safety protocols. Make sure to conduct an annual gas safety check, remind your tenants how to use the fire extinguishers, and check if the fire alarms are working correctly. In addition, you should also inspect all your appliances and furniture and ensure that they are all in good condition to prevent any accidents and complaints from your tenants.
9. Consider installing an intercom system
If your budget permits, you can also invest in an intercom system for your rental property. Intercoms are great additions for units in an apartment complex or a large building. Your tenants can screen the individuals at the front door without opening it. Dangerous individuals will think twice once they see that you have a device in place that could record their criminal act.
10. Screen your tenants carefully
Your tenants are also potential risks to your rental property. You must find responsible tenants who will not only keep your property safe but will also take care of it as their own. Make sure to screen your tenants carefully. You can either enlist the help of an agency or a tenant screening service provider to make the process easier. Ask for character references from their employers or run a background or credit check. Remember that your rental property is one of your precious investments, so you need to do the necessary legwork to avoid serious issues. In addition, you can also encourage your tenants to get renters insurance. By doing so, you can avoid litigation if your tenants’ possessions get damaged or stolen.
Renting out your property can be a lucrative endeavor. You must exert every measure to keep it safe and secure for you and your tenants.